Online Check in You can check in online at Southwest Airlines 24 hours prior to scheduled departure of flight. The boarding passes can be received at the Skycap Podiums, self service kiosks and ticket counters. Though the check in begins 24 hours before scheduled departure, Southwest requires passengers to be present in the gate area atleast 30 minutes before departure time with their boarding passes. It further asks passengers to be present in gate area for boarding at least 10 minutes before departure time failing which it can cancel the reserved space.
Self Service Kiosk Check In This is another method of check in which can be used by most of the passengers except the unaccompanied minors, who need to get their ages verified, who are travelling with pets, military personnel and those who are having paper tickets. These kiosks are available at all the locations of the carrier including the non-US destinations except for Mexico and Nassau where these are not available.
Early Bird Check In is another way of checking in by paying a sum of USD 12.5 for one way trip using a credit card. This allows you to automatically check in even before 24 hours of scheduled departure, get preferred seat and early access to the overhead bin for keeping the hand baggage. Actually, you can reserve the boarding passes as early as 36 hours before scheduled departure.
Fly By Priority Lane is a way to grant fast access to Business Select and Rapid Rewards A-List members at ticket counters and security checks. These lanes are available at most of the airports in USA as well as at the international destinations to which Southwest flies.
For international flights, the check in time is at least 60 minutes before the scheduled departure of flight and shall be at boarding gate at least 10 minutes before the flight.